Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Coordinated checkpoint/restart process fault tolerance for MPI applications on HPC systems
by Hursey, Joshua, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2010, 202; 3423687
Abstract (Summary)

Scientists use advanced computing techniques to assist in answering the complex questions at the forefront of discovery. The High Performance Computing (HPC) scientific applications created by these scientists are running longer and scaling to larger systems. These applications must be able to tolerate the inevitable failure of a subset of processes (process failures) that occur as a result of pushing the reliability boundaries of HPC systems. HPC system reliability is emerging as a problem in future exascale systems where the time to failure is measured in minutes or hours instead of days or months. Resilient applications (i.e., applications that can continue to run despite process failures) depend on resilient communication and runtime environments to sustain the application across process failures. Unfortunately, these environments are uncommon and not typically present on HPC systems. In order to preserve performance, scalability, and scientific accuracy, a resilient application may choose the invasiveness of the recovery solution, from completely transparent to completely application-directed. Therefore, resilient communication and runtime environments must provide customizable fault recovery mechanisms.

Resilient applications often use rollback recovery techniques for fault tolerance: particularly popular are checkpoint/restart (C/R) techniques. HPC applications commonly use the Message Passing Interface (MPI) standard for communication. This thesis identifies a complete set of capabilities that compose to form a coordinated C/R infrastructure for MPI applications running on HPC systems. These capabilities, when integrated into an MPI implementation, provide applications with transparent, yet optionally application configurable, fault tolerance. By adding these capabilities to Open MPI we demonstrate support for C/R process fault tolerance, automatic recovery, proactive process migration, and parallel debugging. We also discuss how this infrastructure is being used to support further research into fault tolerance.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lumsdaine, Andrew
Commitee: Bramley, Randall, Chauhan, Arun, Mueller, Frank, Plale, Beth
School: Indiana University
Department: Computer Sciences
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-B 71/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Computer science
Keywords: Checkpoint/restart, Fault tolerance, High performance computing, Message passing interface
Publication Number: 3423687
ISBN: 978-1-124-24735-9
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